Payments Rewired: Blockchain’s Impact on Remittances | IPR Global 2023 December 20, 2023

In this instalment, we traverse the corridors of Open Banking’s impact on cross-border remittances, harnessing AI’s potential for efficiency, and navigating the realm of blockchain-based solutions. Buckle up for an insightful session through the dynamic intersection of finance, technology, and innovation. 


  • Lindsay Lehr, Managing Director, PCMI 


  • Walter D’Cruz, Director, Moneo Solutions 
  • Sukhi Srivatsan, Head of Account Management, AZA Finance 
  • David Lambert, CEO, Paycross 

How does open banking facilitate cross-border remittances and interoperability between financial institutions? 

 Let’s first understand what open banking is before diving in. David summarises it as an instant domestic bank transfer system. This essentially allows third-party entities access to users’ financial data via APIs, enabling them to make payments on behalf of the user. Walter expanded on this, emphasising how real-time payments and data exchange are subsets of open banking. He highlighted the challenge it poses to direct debit and recurring payments, especially in merchant-initiated transactions. 

David also shed light on Open Banking’s potential as an alternative payment method by making instant payments by just scanning QR codes; however, he notes its limited spread in the market. Drawing parallels with established systems like PayPal or Apple Pay, he stressed the need for better branding and consumer familiarity to propel Open Banking into a mainstream payment method. Moreover, the discussion linked Open Banking to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), foreseeing their role in accelerating international payment rails for faster digital currency. However, concerns were raised about CBDCs being entirely under central banking control, prompting potential government involvement due to public apprehension. 

How can AI be leveraged to enhance the accuracy of remittance transactions and improve the user experience?  

Sukhi highlighted critical pain points faced at AZA Finance when it came to liquidity projection and forecasting for their clients. Addressing the need to ensure sufficient currency availability at the right time and place without inflating costs for clients. To tackle this, they created an internal model that utilised historical client data to predict future growth patterns, aiding in better preparation for customer demands and enabling proactive measures such as potentially offering increased liquidity when moving to new markets. 

However, David expressed scepticism about the reliability of predictive AI for precise forecasting. He highlighted the limitations of AI, emphasising its dependence on the data it’s fed and its inability to independently form entirely accurate projections due to various external factors influencing trends. He believed AI must be heavily controlled, such as by setting rule parameters and cautious utilisation, to prevent misleading or inaccurate predictions. 

Acknowledging this, Sukhi agreed that human involvement was crucial. While AI forecasts might not be pinpoint accurate, they allow for better-informed decisions. 

Walter countered common fears around AI. He emphasised AI’s role in expediting data analysis by enabling quicker translation of data into actionable insights, thereby saving time and effort. Walter advocated for a practical approach, distancing from rigid rule parameters, which is especially beneficial for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that often struggle with sourcing and analysing multiple data sources to make informed decisions. This flexibility allows smaller businesses to compete and innovate alongside industry giants. 

What are some real-world examples of successful blockchain-based remittance solutions?  

Walter sees blockchain as a global equaliser capable of transferring value across boundaries in real time. However, he underscores the importance of recognising blockchain independently from central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and cryptocurrencies, as they still involve inherent complexities like exchange rates and associated costs. However, the challenge of decentralisation may be difficult for society to embrace. 

David, on the other hand, points out a fundamental issue: the persisting limitations in the speed of money movement due to technological and regulatory barriers. He notes that blockchain doesn’t inherently address this challenge, especially with governments increasingly advocating for CBDCs, which introduces another layer of complexity and opposition. 

Furthering the conversation, Walter delves into the intricacies of technological efficiency. He cites an example of banks implementing cheque scanners to streamline verification processes, yet this technological enhancement didn’t significantly impact on the time taken for the money to be deposited into bank accounts. This prompts doubts about the effectiveness of new technologies in speeding up financial transactions. There is the possibility for a potential paradigm shift if major retailers, such as Amazon, embed cryptocurrencies. There is also an opportunity for the adoption of blockchain within the remittance industry; however, there needs to be collaboration among stakeholders to lay down a functional framework and process. This collective effort is crucial to overcome the hurdles and ensure a more meaningful integration of this technology into the financial landscape. 

What next?   

At RemitONE, our commitment is to provide you with cutting-edge technology, compliance solutions, and expert guidance to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of remittances. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to scale your business, we’ve got you covered.  

Want to see how RemitONE can elevate your business? Book a free consultation with our experts today! 

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